November 3, 2007

A walk in the park - Parque Swinford

Parque Swinford, La Ceiba, HondurasParque Swinford, La Ceiba, Honduras

I took a walk through Parque Swinford with my camera the other day at lunch time and have a bunch of photos to show you. It was a dark, cloudy day, so I had to brighten all the photos.

Parque Swinford is the nicest park in La Ceiba. The park was built by Standard Fruit Company. It also includes some old train cars from the early 1900's which I'll show you in another slide show later.

The water sprinklers were on everywhere and they shoot out about 18 feet (5.5 m) in big circles covering the sidewalks everywhere. Even trying to estimate the range and make a run for it, I couldn't avoid them and was drenched a few times.

I was chastised for walking on the grass by a security guard (just about every place has a security guard) who kept wagging his finger at me as he explained to me that walking on the grass would kill it. I smiled and tried to explain that I only walked (actually ran) on the grass because my clothes were getting wet − I even showed him my wet clothes, but he was having none of it!

Rules are RULES and no logic can intervene. My few little footsteps in the grass would cause instant death and ruin to the "lawn." Once he realized what a dastardly character I was, he had to hang up his cellphone and get off his bench to trail me around the park to keep an eye on me. I was busy taking photos (from the sidewalk!) and would look up to see him peering at me from around a train car.

I tried to be friendly and asked if I could take his photo. Once again − the finger wag and NO! as he turned his back and walked away. I guess I wasn't thinking about how security personal need to keep their photos out of the public so as not to attract retaliation from criminals and international terrorists. This guy, like so many guards in Honduras, was really enjoying his power over me.

I wanted to give him a lecture about wasting a precious natural resource by watering (for hours apparently, based on the depth of the puddles) on a rainy day during rainy season, but I don't think he could have comprehended the concept. After all, rules are rules, and they probably have a watering schedule to stick to, rain or shine.

Despite the unpleasant guard, it is a pretty park. I especially like the use of the big boulders as part of the landscape. The animal figures are nice, too. A stone marker indicates the park was built in March 1999.

Enjoy the slide show:

The train car slide show is here.
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